Visiting the Gods in Lilburn, GA

My son’s Sunday school class, at the local Unitarian-Universalist Church, is learning about other world religions this year, and visiting various places of worship. My son is an avowed atheist, as I was at his age (I ultimately became very spiritual in a non-church, agnostic, rationalistic sort of way), but his mother makes him go on the weekends he spends with her.

Yesterday, though, the group was going out to visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (temple), the largest Hindu temple outside of India, which is in, of all places, Lilburn, GA, not what you’d generally consider a main center of culture of any kind, except maybe the sort you get at Walmart. I’ve been wanting to see this place since it was built, and have a huge respect for the Hindu faith, so even though it was my weekend with Nathaniel, I accepted his mother’s invitation for us all to go see.

The place is simply astonishing. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Doc Wilde Returns

As of today, Doctor Spartacus Wilde and his swashbuckling and brilliant offspring, Brian and Wren, returned to action, after resting a bit following their epic defeat of the Frogs of Doom. (Read about that adventure in the first book, coming out in May 2009!)

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, has commenced. My son and I, both participating, tossed our computers in packs, shouldered the packs, and hiked out on a journey of literaturing. We camped in a nice cafe’ with wifi and wrote the afternoon away.

His goal, decided upon based on other factors like school, martial arts classes, drum lessons, afternoon science club, and such, is 100 words a day, to result in a 3,000 word story at month’s end.

My goal, as an adult participant (not to mention full-time writer), is 1,500 words a day, toward an ultimate goal of 50,000 words.

I usually write 1,000 words a day, but today’s 1,500 came easily, and I’m very happy with the book’s beginning. I did decide that this project would be the next Doc Wilde adventure, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness.

I have some friends who are allegedly participating in the month’s writing, and we’ll see if they are. They, or anyone else who’s playing, can sign up to be my writing buddy over at, and we can watch our progress bars grow and stuff. My user name is outlawmoon.

As a special treat, here’s Chapter 1 of my new book, in its rough, first draft, fresh-from-the-oven form: Continue reading

5 New Classic Horror Flicks You Might Have Missed

Okay, my last post listed 5 classic horror movies for those interested in such things.

This time, I’m gonna briefly list some more contemporary works that many people haven’t seen, and everybody who loves a good scare needs to. Continue reading

5 Classic Horror Flicks to Goose Your Bumps

Hey, everybody! There’s a new “Saw” movie out!

You like movies that exist just so you can watch people be tortured, right?

Eh. Screw that crap. I like real horror movies, real monster movies, real thrillers. I have no problem with grue, but it has to be in context, and there has to be a goddamned story. Preferably a good story.

So, for those who might like to watch something scary and good, I figured I’d throw you a few bones. Collect ’em all and you can build a skeleton. Continue reading

Citizen Tim

It’s official:

As of 8:50 am today, I have done my voting for the year.

I stood in line in the morning chill for two hours. I was proud to be there, proud that so many of my fellow citizens were ahead of me in line, proud that many, many more were behind me. It was like I was in some third world country, some fledgling democracy, where people actually give a damn.

I guess eight years of Hell can be bracing for the democratic process. It’s a pity that’s what it took.

I voted for Barack Obama to be President of the United States of America.

I voted for Jim Martin to replace the vile Saxby Chamblis as Senator from Georgia.

I voted for John Lewis to remain in Congress to represent my district.

I figure, if folks keep slapping down the Republican efforts to suppress the vote, they won’t steal it this time, as they absolutely did in 2000, and likely did in 2004.

It’s time for the USA to become a force of good in the world again.

Writing & Those Moods You’re Having

Start writing more. It’ll get rid of all those moods you’re having.
–Ray Bradbury

I used to have this quote on a sticky note stuck to my computer monitor, and it has never lost its wise charm for me. Bradbury is absolutely right: the act of writing, itself, is a great balm for heart and soul, and the gods all know by now I need that balm, these days more than ever.

I’m never happier or healthier than when I’m into a writing project full-tilt, over my head, spilling over. This isn’t to say that the writing is always enjoyable, because often it’s anything but. But the intense application of self  produces satisfaction and engages the brain in wonderful ways and an act of pure creation is a soulful thing.

Writing something can be hard work, but the hardest part is beginning. Oh, and keeping at it. Yes, those are the hardest parts, along with ending it. Other than that, it’s all a breeze. Continue reading